By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja


A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday varied the conditions attached to the bail granted former Chairman, Pension Reform Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Justice Okon Abang, before who Maina is being tried on charges of money laundering, granted him conditional bail on November 25, 2015.

Among the bail conditions were that Maina endorse a bond of N1billion and produce two sureties, who must be serving Senators, and who must attend court at every subsequent proceedings.

Maina later returned to the court with a prayer for variation, on the grounds that the conditions were too stringent.

In a ruling on Monday, Justice Abang said by with the facts placed before the court his lawyer, Maina’s application ought not to have been granted.

He added: “But in the past few adjournments, I watched the conduct of the defendant.
“He is calm and has not interrupted the proceedings of the court. Maybe he has realised that the court is bound to do justice in the case.

“I am inclined, though, reluctantly to vary the bail conditions in this matter,” he said

The judge proceeded to reduce the bail bond to N500million for Maina, who he said, should now produce a single surety, who must be a serving Senator.

He said the surety must be a serving senator with no criminal case pending in court, and who must have a landed property fully developed in either Asokoro, Maitama, Central Business District (CBD), Wuse 2 or Katampe, in Abuja.

Justice Abang added that the surety must accompany the defendant to court at all trial dates and must sign an attendance register which would be opened for that purpose.

The surety, the judge further said, can leave the court to continue his daily activities after signing the attendance register.

He added the registrar must sight the surety before going back to attend his legislative proceedings.

The prosecution later called one of its witnesses who testified for a while before the court adjourned further proceedings till February 6.